Each Dirty Letter

by Calamateur

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  • Compact Disc
    Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Original 2010 CD release of 'Each Dirty Letter' on Autoclave Records. Packaged in a clear, shrinkwrapped plastic jewel case, complete with a 16-page booklet designed by DUFI, with original artwork by Derek Steele.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Each Dirty Letter via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

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1.
Change this world I would Change this world if I could I drove into the city I walked into the restaurant To tell my brother that he No longer terrified me I took the time to say it To work up to the moment Where courage meets conviction Where cold facts meet devotion Change this world I would Change this world if I could And when the words escaped he Realised the fear had left me He spoke the words so slowly The truth never hurts nobody Change this world I would Change this world if I could I held the briefcase lightly It had never been about the money But to waste it seems a pity So I drove out of the city
2.
03:29
You take a magazine off the shelf Suddenly you feel you should be someone else But when I see that my heart just melts Cause I don’t want to spend my life with anybody else The only one is you And no one else can do The things that make me smile Your love it makes me sing You light up everything Your spirit shines for miles Our friends are laughing as you clean your plate Cause you’ve always thought banoffee was a place in the States But your humility which lets them laugh Is something I wish I could capture like in a photograph The only one is you And no one else can do The things that make me smile Your love it makes me sing You light up everything Your spirit shines for miles You can’t stay and we can’t stay here forever You can’t stay and we can’t stay here for long You can’t stay and we can’t stay together forever Someday one of us will be left on our own So let’s not hurry to be old and grey Let’s break every little rule and transcend every dumb cliché The only one is you And no one else can do The things that make me smile Your love it makes me sing You light up everything Your spirit shines for miles Your love it makes me sing You light up everything Your love
3.
Turn off the light This headache is blinding my sight Give me your wrist So you can't hurt yourself with your fist All this fear and doubt Is just trying to fight it’s way out This box of stones Made me feel we weren't alone Now I can't hide From this thought that we've been filled with lies Open your eyes Pull me inside So I can Hide with you my love When our answers are not enough When we question all we've seen Come retreat to love with me That’s where I’ll be When you can’t understand Why we think there is more Than the sleight of our hands When the curtain comes down When silence is king When people are fools To believe in anything I’ll hide with you my love When our answers are no longer enough When we question all we’ve seen Come retreat to love with me I’ll hide with you my love When our answers are not enough When we question all we’ve seen Come retreat Retreat with me Turn off the light This headache is blinding my sight I dreamed last night That we fell through the holes in our lives
4.
03:45
I know what you’re gonna say When things don’t go my way You say “I don’t fault your faith, I still think that it’s true” I know what you’re gonna do When faced with people like me You say “I don’t know what you want, but this is not what you need” But I want to know I want to know Why everybody looks to the past to be their testimony When all that I can recall is I was bored and lonely Tell me what’s wrong with today Tell me what’s right about tomorrow And I can’t believe you When I know that you’re wrong Why can’t you wake up and see That we are not who we claimed we could be I know what you believe But you’re not the same as me So don’t push me around and tell me the same old stories Where everybody looks to the past to be their testimony When all that I can recall is I was bored and lonely Tell me what’s wrong with today Tell me what’s right about tomorrow Everybody looks to the past to be their testimony When all that I can recall is I was bored and lonely Tell me what’s wrong with today Tell me what’s gonna change tomorrow
5.
Now as then, seven years on In my heart you are strong Every day I feel the same No regrets, nothing’s changed Still the most beautiful girl In this sad and lonely world My eyes are clean, body untouched Come to me, better come Every tape, every song All to say I belong With the most beautiful girl In this sad and lonely world Overtaken by desire My love is cast in a burning fire I can’t go forwards won’t go back Some say we are getting old Losing beauty in this world But every night when we pray I wake up younger every day In this invisible world With the most beautiful girl
6.
04:29
I have been this way for forever Yeah always waiting on your honest reply What more can I give than my heart, my come and my cry You didn’t get this far all on your own You didn’t get this far by leaving home You didn’t get this far by avoiding my calls So why can’t you open up your heart Is being honest all that hard You have no reason to be scared Or under prepared All that I can hear is singing Sometimes I think I’d rather hear your disgust At the way that you think you’ve been treated since you rose from the dust You didn’t get this far all on your own You didn’t get this far being all alone You didn’t get this far by pretending I’m dead So why can’t you open up your heart Is being honest all that hard You have no reason to be scared Or under prepared You’re telling me lies every single day Think you’re keeping the peace You’re only paving the way For a bitter day You think I should suffer all over again Are you my enemy or friend What you want now is what you’ll get in the end So why can’t you open up your heart Is being honest all that hard You have no reason to be scared So you’re free to run away from here Down to the depths I’ll still be near A simple no is all I need Honestly
7.
04:50
I dreamed all your dreams As a young man Now I’ve deleted those scenes I don’t understand Why you would choose To model the role Of the powerful king Who gives up control This city is mine This city is mine To hide behind The winter is here The dark quiet nights And in them the fear That one day you might Break through the defences That border my land And pull out my tongue And cut off my hands This city is mine This city is mine To hide behind When you come to meet me All dressed in white Your eye on the sparrow Your eyes filled with light Will you wrap your arms Round my loveless bones My vision fuelled heart That’s turned into stone This city is mine This vision This kingdom This love
8.
03:58
Nothing makes me shiver with regret like when I think Of all the friends I’ve had and how I’ve made all their hearts sink By doing something stupid that could bring things to an end I’m sorry for being a bad friend So if I punched you in a rage, did not defend you when attacked Dropped you for another friend at the drop of a hat I made you the joke so I was not the one laughed at I’m sorry for being a bad friend I always wanted to control you, did not allow you to be free Undermined your sweet uniqueness, thought that you should be like me Criticised you for your weaknesses, denied you any grace I called you the c-word directly to your face I’m sorry for being a bad friend A good friend would not have hurt you A good friend would not have let you down The way I’ve done I didn’t send you any invites to the parties that I held Told all the world the secrets that I’d sworn I wouldn’t tell Got drunk out of loneliness and scared you with my need To have someone to hold and who would want to hold me I’m sorry for being a bad friend So I believe in God’s forgetfulness but maybe not in yours If I’ve hurt you then I’m sorry, I hope she can heal the bruise Her failing memory is a mercy that none of us deserve Her forgiveness is the road from which now on I will not swerve I’m sorry for being a bad friend
9.
I don’t have time for you to be my Conqueror or conquest, friend or foe The sun’s coming up now and you’ve got to go But I don’t want to fight you anymore Just touch my skin or else I’ll never let go I can’t decide if I should be afraid Will you strike me down if I laugh in your face Beat you till daybreak and kick out your teeth My knuckles and bones ache but I give no relief And I don’t want to fight you anymore Just touch my skin or else I’ll never let go Ask me my name I’ll tell you each dirty letter Just promise that you’ll change it to something better And I thought I couldn’t hurt you But I could not have been more wrong Why else would I be holding on You don’t need protection from people like me So I’ve stopped pretending to like what I see I think you’ve a soft spot beneath your thick skin For people who fight even you for what they believe in And I don’t want to fight you anymore Just touch my skin or else I’ll never let go Ask me my name I’ll tell you each dirty letter Just promise that you’ll change it to something better
10.
Give me a clean slate Give me a cold day Clear skies and sunlight Fogged breath and frostbite Breakfast in Brooklyn The day wasted looking Over the skyline The city I’d thought was mine A packet of Camels A flask of Jack Daniels A fire by the lochside Talking past midnight My friends keep on calling On someone who’s fallen They think I’ve forgotten Who I’ve turned my back on And in the silence In the dark Under your stars I give you my heart

about

Ten-track album, originally released on Autoclave Records in September 2010.

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Andrew Howie belongs in that small band of clever singer-songwriter who write sharp, beautiful songs (Ed Harcourt, David Ford, Tom Macrae to name a few)…Mellow yet acid tipped opener Change This World and gossamer-like duet Retreat with Jo Mango show how good this young Scot is. 4/5″ - Scottish Sunday Express

“The dreamy ‘Change This World’ gently hooks you in, then it moves to the soaring, pop-infused ‘Banoffee’. Delicate, stripped-back duet ‘Retreat’ with Jo Mango is a real stand out. 4/5″ - Sunday Mail

"An engaging album... a fine example of confessional songwriting." - Skiddle

"With 'Each Dirty Letter' we are magnificently entertained and are made to feel the world isn't so bad after all. Excellent. 10/10." - Cross Rhythms

"A stunning introduction to the intoxicating work of one Andrew Howie. 8/10.” - Rhythm & Booze

"A quality slice of acoustic pop." - Fatea

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ORIGINAL AUTOCLAVE RECORDS PRESS RELEASE:
(written by Richard Vernon)

'Each Dirty Letter' is the best Calamateur album to date. It's just that good. With all the usual Calamateur sonic palette present (electronica, mellow acoustic guitar, aggressive electric guitar, drum
loops, etc.) 'Each Dirty Letter' sees these aural ingredients used far less as pure texture than on previous releases and far more in service to the songs. And such songs!

Undoubtedly the most personal songs he's released, 'Each Dirty Letter' is an ideal place to start if you
haven't tried Calamateur before, and a Must-Have item for confirmed fans. Although 'Each Dirty Letter' is the fourth album-length release in the increasingly huge Calamateur discography (including 2003's double-length 'Son of Everyone EP') and the third official album (after 2004's 'The Old Fox of '45'), and last year's 'Jesus is for Losers', it's the first to have been conceived and recorded as a cohesive whole. From the slyly mellow, acutely disturbing songs like opener "Change This World", and "A Bad Friend" through to the gorgeous, delicate duet with Jo Mango on "Retreat", and rock numbers like "Testimony" and "Honesty", there are musical and lyrical themes that recur and tie the whole thing together, making it hard to skip around the record, or pick favourite tracks, since it demands to be listened to as a whole.

Paradoxically by being more lyrically specific and personal on this album, the songs actually become more generally applicable, carry more moral weight and (significantly) pack a heftier emotional punch. Let's just say that as detailed as some of the lines in "A Bad Friend" are, the song is sure to remind you of some of your less admirable moments.

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As heard on BBC 6Music's Gideon Coe show, BBC Three's Late Junction, Moray Firth Radio, BBC Radio Wales, Leith FM, Original 106FM's Jim Gellatly show, BFBS Radio.

REVIEWS:

"Andrew Howie (for he alone is Calamateur) belongs in that small band of clever singer-songwriters who write sharp, beautiful songs (Ed Harcourt, David Ford, Tom Macrae to name a few) but are destined never to reach the heights of stardom that infinitely less talented people like James Blunt have received. Mellow yet acid-tipped opener 'Change This World' and gossamer-like duet 'Retreat' with Jo Mango show how good this young Scot is. 4/5″ – Scottish Sunday Express

"This is Inverness-based singer/songwriter Andrew Howie and one time member of Old Solar. From the off, the dreamy 'Change This World' gently hooks you in, then it moves to the soaring, pop-infused Banoffee. Delicate, stripped-back duet 'Retreat' with Jo Mango is a real stand out." - Sunday Mail

"Scottish singer/songwriter Andrew Howie (aka Calamateur) has been around on the scene a while now and last year released an album which contained an incredible cover of Steve Taylor's 'Jesus Is for Losers'). But nothing quite prepared for this set of self-penned songs. A mildly mesmeric style, post-teenage angst preoccupations and oblique allusions to faith and spirituality (don't mention the word 'Jesus') - it is all here in gloriously scribbled-out music. Calamateur, 'fesses up big time, wearing all the seriously soporific minutia of his life on his sleeve and sounding, for most of the tracks, as if he's recorded them just before falling asleep. If you want sensitive pen-portraits of the self-absorbed, arranged and played with a spectacular lightness of touch, if you want to be delighted and surprised by perfectly paired down songs, if you want to be reminded of just how difficult it can be getting through the day without regret, it's all here. The titles are a give-away - 'Change The World, I Would', 'A Bad Friend', 'A Crumbling Empire', 'Retreat' - making Calamateur the perfect antidote to victorious living. In this search for truth and honesty, Andrew is aided and abetted by the fine studio work of Lewis Gordon (bass), Mark Hilditch (piano), Iain Hutchinson (electric guitar and keyboards) with Phil Moir on drums. Well done guys, for feeding the neurosis. I'll bet Calamateur is wry and funny live and could genuinely reduce you to tears (either way). Perversely, with 'Each Dirty Letter' we are magnificently entertained and are made to feel the world isn't so bad after all. Excellent. 10/10." - Cross Rhythms

"When I think about singer songwriters I immediately imagine someone sat behind an acoustic guitar, playing songs that are extremely hard to differentiate from one another. Lots of acoustic guitar, lots of singing, oh and maybe a cello on track four to make it sound ‘different.’ Out of all the types of musicians out there singer songwriters have definitely got it hardest. The voice behind Calamateur, Andrew Howie, sings in the song ‘Bannoffee’; “Let’s break every little rule and transcend every dumb cliché.” And for a large part of this album he does just that. Of course, there are the classic singer songwriter tracks in there, but these are placed amongst some really very interesting ideas. ‘Testimony’ is a bass heavy rock ballad. ‘City Is Mine’ has an electronic drum track emphasised by real drums (what, TWO drum tracks?!) with some proper ‘riffage’ in the middle. Last song on the album ‘A Crumbling Empire’ builds up layers of organs and guitars, with effects all over the vocals. This is not a classic singer songwriter album; it’s much more than that. If I hadn’t read the bumph that came with the CD I would have thought Calamateur were in fact a band, which is a good thing. This album is weird and wonderful, it’s dark and consuming - it’s not just a guy sat behind an acoustic guitar. 8/10." - Tasty Fanzine

"Who is he? Calamateur is the nom de plume of Scottish singer songwriter Andrew Howie, a musician based near Inverness in the Highlands. He's been recording and releasing his own music since 2000. 'Each Dirty Letter' is his 4th album release. What's he like? The album opens with 'Change The World, I Would' - a gentle, wistful and laid back number perfect for lonely bedsitters everywhere. 'Banoffee' drifts into Snow Patrol territory - a swelling, swirling love song, with a 'to die for' chorus that would be equally at home in a folk club or filling an arena. And that's the neat trick that Calamateur has pulled off with 'Each Dirty Letter': it's an album that works on the level of intimate confessional, but which would work equally well in front of a much larger audience - the perfect example being 'Retreat', a lovely duet with Jo Mango that is firmly in Damien Rice territory. Should I buy? If you're a fan of bands like Snow Patrol, then you're going to appreciate what Calamateur and 'Each Dirty Letter' has to offer. That is, beautifully played and produced, singer / songwriter soft rock of the first order. 3/5." - Get Ready to ROCK!

"Folk-pop singer-songwriter Andrew Howie, as he's named on the birth certificate, hails from Scotland and, while not being part of the ever expanding Fence Collective circle obviously lowers his hip rating among trendy types, he certainly deserves to be afforded attention. He has a gentle sleepy warm lilt to the voice with melodies that follow suit (although he can and does shake things up) and is adept at weaving something as dreamy as the acoustic 'Change This World, I Would' as he is the more strident lovelorn stadium anthemics of 'Testimony' or the hushed intimacy of 'City Is Mine' which uses both real drums and drum track. Well polished production and arrangements along with songs addressing faith (he's Christian but in a flag waving manner) and relationships ensure it slips down smoothly, his literate lyrics pricking the ears along the way and while there's nothing life changing, 'Retreat''s waltzing duet with Jo Mango and the solo acoustic self-blaming 'A Bad Friend' ensure it makes a pleasing soundtrack to the reflective early hours." - NetRhythms

"“This has the look and sound of other popular teenage pop-rock bands with a soothing difference. With an initial look familiar to Hey Monday I expected a similar style of music and what I found didn't disappoint. Calamateur incorporate simple but unpassive melodies and harmonies into their sounds with a versatile and control mix of male and female voice. The first song 'Change This World' sets the tone effectively for the entire album, with a warming voice and soft melody, as the rest of the album jumps back and forth between slow and more up-tempo. Upon listening some songs remind me of The Fray or Snow Patrol, although maybe less rock 'n'n roll and more easy listening with an absence of strong beats but more gentle guitar riffs. 'Each Dirty Letter' seems to stylise that of other bands that appeal to teenage audience and beyond and make for more than a good album to lose yourself in.” - Plugged In

"Info - He's Scottish and has a real name, Andrew Howie. Calamateur sounds better! Music - Take lo fi, folky, indie pop and wash over with some to die for melodies plus strangely engaging melodies and you have 'Each Dirty Letter'. It's a fairly tried and tested formula that we have to agree but when its done well it's a real treat. Take 'Banoffee' which is systematic of just how it's done well or 'Repeat' which follows but goes into duet territory, Jo Mango adds some sweet, sweet vocals which only adds to an already splendid tune. Sometimes you get the celtic twang others does kind of slip into almost American, 'A Bad Friend' has a bit of the Evan Dando's about it but always its laid back. He does almost get hot under the collar on 'Testimony' but it's soon out of the system and back to what he does best. No worries as by the time 'Touch My Skin' comes along he's very much back to his very best. Away from the music gotta add points for the artwork too, the illustrations (or drawings as we like to call them!) complete the picture; quaint and very much lo fi and provides a fine companion to the music. Pick of the bunch - 'Banoffee' is as sweet as it suggests and 'Touch My Skin' does stand out but to be fair this isn't about individual songs, it's a fluid musical journey that is best listened to in its entirety. Worth a punt? If you like laid back, cool, semi acoustic melodic guitar pop with an indie and folky bias then this album should be in your collection. Just a lovely forty minutes of music, love it, we do." - Shadders Online

“… excellent songs…with rave reviews for his previous albums, this record should be no different as the quality which seems to have pleased the critics before is certainly present here.” - Maverick Magazine

“…strangely uplifting in a resolute way….Howie’s observations on life are those of us all. The ones we brush under the carpet for want of survival….supremely crafted…this album is all the better for it’s honesty and ‘private’ reflection. 4/5” - Strummer Reviews

"Has an almost spiritual feel...the album feels like a bridge between the listener and a greener field that sits on the other side of the song. At it's most primitive level, the album is a quality slice of acoustic pop, but it often goes way beyond that. These are songs that you can relate to." - Fatea

“An intriguing release welding together folky acoustic guitars, subtle electronica, laid back crooned vocals and occasional bursts of aggressive electric guitar to great effect….I found myself craving more of the absorbing work of Calamateur (which can easily be located for free online) and personally I think that’s always the sign of a worthwhile release… serves as a stunning introduction to the intoxicating work of one Andrew Howie. 8/10.” - Rhythm & Booze

“…like some of the best singer-songwriters Calamateur really knows how to express his emotions on paper and transform it into music…quite sumptous.” - Entertainment Focus

“'Each Dirty Letter' is packed with anthems in waiting, and given a push (or some suitable TV soundtracking), Calamateur will be very very big indeed… Andrew Howie injects his music with a whole lot of heart which puts him head and shoulders above a lot of the competition in the field.” - Americana UK

“Comprising quiet bits, noisy bits, and a smattering of electronica, it’s a more ‘proper-song’ led affair than previous outings where his use of texture was given foreground. Any fans of American Music Club, Elliott Smith or Sparklehorse should find much to love in his heartworn tunes.” - Shout4Music

credits

released September 6, 2010

All songs written by Andrew Howie.

Produced, engineered, mixed and mastered by Iain Hutchison at Glo-Worm Studio, Glasgow.

Original artwork by Derek Steele:
www.mosteverybodylivestheirlives.blogspot.com

Design by:
www.DUFI-ART.com

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about

Andrew Howie Stirling, UK

Andrew Howie (ex-Calamateur) is a Scottish singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer & prison/community group music tutor. He combines confessional & empathetic lyricism with acoustic instruments, noisy electronics & ambient textures to create introspective, hook-laden songs about uncertainty, doubt & love. You'll find him either holed up in his home studio or playing in your living room. ... more

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